NFL Hasn't Discussed Postponing Any Week 16 Games Because of Rising COVID-19 Cases

Erin WalshDecember 24, 2021

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - DECEMBER 05: The NFL logo is pictured ahead of the game between the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field on December 05, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Nic Antaya/Getty Images

The NFL does not intend to alter the Week 16 schedule amid a surge in COVID-19 cases across the league. 

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio that there has been “no discussion of changing the status" of any Week 16 games despite several teams having a laundry list of players on the reserve/COVID-19 list. 

The news comes after the NFL pushed back three Week 15 matchups because of COVID-19 outbreaks. Some within the NFL voiced displeasure with those postponements, including Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis, who said postponing his team's matchup against the Cleveland Browns to Monday night was a "competitive disadvantage to the Raiders."  

Several teams are in the midst of major COVID-19 outbreaks, including the Houston Texans, who have 21 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list. In addition, the New York Jets have 19 players on the list, the Baltimore Ravens have 15, and the New Orleans Saints have 11. 

The Texans are set to face the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, while the Jets will face the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Ravens have a key divisional matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, while the Saints host the Miami Dolphins on Monday night. 

McCarthy's comments come after NFL Chief Medical Officer Allen Sills said Thursday that the league's new COVID-19 protocols are the result of data that shows the virus is not spreading from asymptomatic individuals. 

However, more than 94 percent of NFL players are vaccinated, and more than 300 have tested positive over the last two weeks.